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It was April 16, 1999 when I first saw 98 Degrees live. Jessica Simpson was their opening act and signed a copy of her cassette tape for me. It was that concert that marked the beginning of my teenage love for boy bands.
I remember playing their CD on repeat. I memorized nearly all the tracks from their 98 Degrees and Rising album. But as time passed, the songs and lyrics that accompanied them became a distant part of my life; a memory that I filed away, until the MY2K Tour.
I guess I don’t have as much of a mushy mommy, post-pregnancy brain as I thought, because as soon as they started singing during the MY2K concert a few weeks ago, I sang along, remembering nearly every lyric (strange how I could remember that, but I can’t remember where I park my car sometimes). They really took me back when they appeared on stage in the same black vests and grey camo pants that they wore during the concert in 1999 (I distinctly remember this and even confirmed it via Google). Seriously, my memory shocked me!
Sure the group has grown older, as have I (and the other fans with their now groupie mini vans), but the guys of 98 Degrees are still incredible vocalists. Hearing Heat It Up and Invisible Man again was an instant time machine to my teenage years. As I listened to I Do (Cherish You), I couldn’t help but think back to my pre-love, even pre-first kiss, years. At 13, I remember thinking that all I wanted was this boy in my middle school to look at me, and think of me that way. Now, married with two children, I listened to the song with less fantasy of love and more reality of my life. I was a pivotal, powerful moment for me.
“I do cherish you for the rest of my life
You don’t have to think twice
I will love you still from the depths of my soul
It’s beyond my control
I’ve waited so long to say this to you
If you’re asking do I love you this much, I do”
My friend Nicole came to the concert with me. While I was the die-hard fan of 98 Degrees, she was a huge fan of the girl group Dream, one of the other acts on the MY2K Tour (along with O-Town and Ryan Cabrera). We of course had to dress the part, channeling the 90s. I was tempted to go for the NBA jersey dress or patchwork denim flares, but I instead opted for a black and white flannel over a halter bralette, a pair of skinny jeans and Converse Chuck Taylor wedges. Nicole chose a flannel from Forever 21.
We jammed out to 98 Degrees, 90s/2000s montages during the concert, a look back at TRL and a beautiful tribute to Price. It was an awesome night and I wish I could do it all over again.
Want to see 98 Degrees, Dream, O-Town and Ryan Cabrera live? The MY2K Tour runs through August 29. For ticket information and remaining tour dates, visit www.my2ktour.com
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